ODESSA - PRELUDE TO TEN FOR THE DEVIL

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Chapter 1- Shipwrecked

Part 1

English coastline - 1829                                 

"No mercy...everyone must die!" Luke's harsh voice screamed above the pounding waves as he trekked backwards down the soft sand dune to the shoreline. The wind blew long blond hair across his weary disfigured face. His eyes are wild with blood lust. The night's events were in its final stages and the next chapter of his life was about to be written.    

Heavy gray smoke darkened the sky from the bonfire lite the night before. Coughing on smoke, Luke shouted again. "Be ready now! Don't give them time to recover." He turned his long lean frame to face the men emerging out of the cold sea.

Luke focused on one man as he ran forward, axe waved high in his right hand and a knife clutched in his left   He attacked and felt the axe tear through flesh crushing the collarbone. Luke's knife speared deep into ribs as held up the dying sailor. Their eyes locked until life left the man. Luke pulled out his knife and the lifeless body fell to the sand. The sailor had made not a single sound.  

A rag tagged mob, heavily armed with clubs, pitchforks and knives, ran behind Luke, and joined in the kill until the sea foam turned red with blood. The screams of murderers and those massacred, merged with the rumble and reverberating uproar in the distance. The once proud Fair Maiden, flagship for Hogsworth Shipping Line, was being torn asunder by sharp rocks just off shore and helped by the pounding white capped breakers. The survivors' screams were unrelenting, as they either jumped or fell from the ship into the sea and mingled with the sound of shrieking sea gulls and crashing waves.

The morning air filled with the strange mixture of smells from burnt wood, salt, seaweed, human sweat, and fresh coppery-rust stench of blood. Many eyes wept; from the sting of black smoke, from fear, from the ecstasy of the kill, or being in the final stages of death's cold grip.

Only one lifeboat was launched manned by armed sailors and frightened passengers they headed for shore. Their muskets fired pellets into the crazed pack but the waves bounced the rowboat and he was impossible to make an accurate shot. The blacksmith was shot in the upper arm, but undaunted the large brute still marched forward with his iron hammer in one hand. He soon found the skull of a young unarmed man. The poor fellow dropped to the sand with one swing of the heavy hammer.

The blacksmith continued on to his next kill. The village baker, who was not so bold as to strike the first blow, immediately approached and pierced the fallen man between the ribs with a knife. The blacksmith's wife accosted the baker from behind and tossed him off the dying sailor like a bag of potatoes crying, "He's ours, off with ya." Her two boys, miniatures of their father, helped their mother to drag the body up the beach, and started to strip him of anything worthwhile. The young, gingered hair sailor, only a few years older than the boys who were striping him, called out with his dying breath for his own mother, tears running down his freckled cheeks. The pox-holed faces of the blacksmith's boys snickered. The younger of the two, took a dirty index finger and drove it into the sailor's knife wound making him cried out in pain. They snickered again.

The battle was finished before the sun rose over the horizon to bathe the shore in light.  The few remaining Fair Maiden's survivors were in a tight group surrounded by men from the village awaiting instructions from their leader, Luke. They knew he would ask a few questions before finishing off the remainder of the crew and passengers.   

Luke approached the band of survivors slowly as he gathered strength and counted the dead and dying on the beach. They did not lose a villager however; he was not pleased that in the remaining collection of survivors was a young woman and a little girl.  This was the third shipwreck that they had caused but the first time that a child was aboard and he hated to kill women, as there were so few in the village as it was. He had told his followers, no mercy. Luke knew if one survivor got away to tell their story, they would all hang. Therefore, eyes forward he approached the group. 

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